Tag Archives: mesothelioma surgery

Surgeons Disagree on Definition of Mesothelioma Surgery

When surgery is indicated for mesothelioma, doctors typically turn to one of two procedures: extrapleural pneumonectomy or pleurectomy/decortication (P/D). Of the two, extrapleural pneumonectomy is the most extensive and risky, involving removal of a lung, the lining of the lung, and parts of the diaphragm. Though somewhat controversial, this mesothelioma surgery is well-defined in most centers. In contrast, a new study finds that surgeons vary widely in their definition of pleurectomy/decortication. To get a better understanding of what mesothelioma surgeons mean when referring to P/D, members of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and the International Mesothelioma Interest Group conducted a web-based survey of 62 surgeons from 39 medical centers who had performed at least one mesothelioma … Continue reading Surgeons Disagree on Definition of Mesothelioma Surgery »

Surgery Remains “Cornerstone” of Mesothelioma Treatment

A major new study of more than 14,000 mesothelioma patients diagnosed between 1973 and 2009 finds that surgery appears to have a greater impact on survival than any other form of mesothelioma treatment. Researchers with Mount Sinai Medical Center, North Shore/Long Island Jewish Health System, and Hofstra School of Medicine in New York analyzed data from SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results), a large national database of cancer patients. Only patients with confirmed malignant pleural mesothelioma were included in the study. The researchers divided 14,228 mesothelioma cases by age, sex race, diagnosis year, stage, cancer-directed surgery, radiation and other factors to determine which ones appear to have the most influence on mesothelioma survival. When compared to having no treatment, cancer-directed … Continue reading Surgery Remains “Cornerstone” of Mesothelioma Treatment »

Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery Results in Fewer Short-Term Deaths

Extrapleural pneumonectomy is the more radical of the two surgeries and involves the removal of a lung along with the diseased pleural lining where mesothelioma tumors start, all or part of the diaphragm, the lining around the heart, and other at-risk tissues. While the complication rate is higher with EPP, some studies have suggested that the surgery may improve the odds of surviving mesothelioma. Pleurectomy/decortication involves the removal of the pleura and many of the same tissues, but leaves the lungs intact. Studies suggest that patients tend to recover from this type of surgery faster. Both types of procedures may be preceded or followed by chemotherapy or radiation to shrink mesothelioma tumors for easier removal or to kill residual cancer cells. Doctors … Continue reading Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery Results in Fewer Short-Term Deaths »

Mesothelioma Surgeon Says Proper Staging Key to Radical Surgery Survival

One of the country’s top mesothelioma surgeons has just published a study he says confirms the role of lymph node involvement in survival after radical mesothelioma surgery. Dr. David Sugarbaker, Director of the Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, is one of the most experienced practioners of a radical surgical approach to malignant pleural mesothelioma called extrapleural pneumonectomy. EPP aims to prevent the spread or return of mesothelioma by not only removing the tumor and the pleural lining on which it is located, but also the nearest lung, all or part of the diaphragm, the lining around the heart, and other at-risk tissues. The procedure is controversial because of its high rate of complications and death. Some … Continue reading Mesothelioma Surgeon Says Proper Staging Key to Radical Surgery Survival »

Mesothelioma Drug Side Effect Relieved by Surgery

A team of plastic surgeons in New York have had good luck dealing with one of the bothersome side effects of the mesothelioma drug, Alimta. Alimta (pemetrexed) is considered the gold standard chemotherapy drug for malignant pleural mesothelioma. It is often combined with the platinum-based drug cisplatin as a primary mesothelioma treatment or to help shrink mesothelioma tumors before or after surgery. It is also used to treat non-small cell lung cancer. But, like other powerful chemotherapy drugs, Alimta causes certain side effects, one of which can be swelling of the eyelids. While not life-threatening, eyelid swelling or “edema” can impact quality of life for mesothelioma patients and others on Alimta. But a new article in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive … Continue reading Mesothelioma Drug Side Effect Relieved by Surgery »

Mesothelioma Survival Impacted by Lack of Surgery

Surgery for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

A team of surgical oncologists say failure to treat peritoneal mesothelioma with surgery is costing too many patients their lives. Researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin studied survival statistics for more than 1,500 patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, a form of mesothelioma that occurs in the abdomen. They concluded that many more of them could survive longer if they were treated with surgery. Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database, the research team identified 1,591 patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma between 1973 and 2010. The median age of the studied patients was 74 years and most had metastatic disease, meaning that their mesothelioma had spread beyond the peritoneal membrane that lines the abdomen. Of those 1,591 peritoneal … Continue reading Mesothelioma Survival Impacted by Lack of Surgery »

Mesothelioma Surgery Debate: Experience is the Answer

A pair of researchers in the UK say a cancer center’s level of experience in dealing with mesothelioma may be the most important factor in achieving good surgical outcomes – not which surgery is chosen. Their new meta-analysis is the latest in a long line of studies attempting to discern which type of mesothelioma surgery is best for patients in terms of survival and complications. The global medical community remains sharply divided over the risks and benefits of lung-sparing pleurectomy/decortication vs. lung-removing extrapleural pneumonectomy. In the newest study, authors Sotiris and Sayonara Papaspyros analyzed the results of 16 separate studies comparing P/D to EPP in the treatment of mesothelioma. They found a median survival range from 8.1 to 32 months … Continue reading Mesothelioma Surgery Debate: Experience is the Answer »

Factors Predict Long-Term Survival After Mesothelioma Surgery

Two thoracic surgeons from Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, England have come up with a list of factors they say can be used to predict long term survival in mesothelioma patients who undergo radical surgery. Noting that the factors predicting poor outcomes from mesothelioma surgery have already been determined, Drs. Apostolos Nakas and David Waller say their goal was to determine the predictors of positive surgical outcomes. The two retrospectively reviewed the records of 252 patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a virulent form of cancer caused by asbestos inhalation. The epithelioid variety of mesothelioma was identified in 193 of the tested patients. The rest had the rarer biphasic type. There are two major types of radical surgery for pleural mesothelioma … Continue reading Factors Predict Long-Term Survival After Mesothelioma Surgery »

Mesothelioma Surgery May Have Added Benefit

Doctor Holding Chart

Cancer researchers at Wake Forest University have found another benefit to the cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) combination used to treat peritoneal mesothelioma and other abdominal cancers: the control of fluid buildup. Fluid accumulation in the abdomen because of peritoneal mesothelioma or another type of cancer is known as ascites. Left untreated, ascites can cause bloating, discomfort, disfiguration, and shortness of breath when it interferes with the movement of the diaphragm. While patients with peritoneal mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer of the peritoneal surface, can have this fluid drained off, it often reaccumulates. But the new Wake Forest research suggests that CRS/HIPEC may offer a more permanent solution. Fifteen percent of the cancer patients in the study had … Continue reading Mesothelioma Surgery May Have Added Benefit »

Mesothelioma Study Cites Risks & Benefits of Second Surgery

Peritoneal mesothelioma patients who have cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and heated chemotherapy can sometimes benefit from a second surgery, but it may be harder the second time around. Researchers in France have recently published their findings in a study of patients with mesothelioma and other peritoneal cancers who experienced recurrence after  cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). Peritoneal mesothelioma is an asbestos-related malignancy that spreads across the peritoneum, the membrane that lines the abdomen. For patients who are healthy enough to undergo it, cytoreductive surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible, followed by a solution of heated chemotherapy drugs, has been shown to improve survival. But the French team wanted to examine the possible options for people … Continue reading Mesothelioma Study Cites Risks & Benefits of Second Surgery »